So it's coming up on spring training this year, and I found this previous year's report that I might as well send out. UA1233 BOS EWR 1156 1338 73G 21A No upgrade for me. I didn't get too exercised over this, and the flight, scheduled for 1 h 42, took just the 42 part, so we slid right into our gate way at the end of C, by all the more interesting food outlets. As I had a craving for beef, there was a choice between Smashburger, fairly cheap, and Gallagher's, grossly overpriced; so I went to the former and had a double CYO (create your own) burger. These were a pair of 5ish oz patties very heavily seasoned with coarse salt and coarse pepper on an egg bun; my condiment choices: chipotle mayo was rather spicy and rather smoky, rather good, but there wasn't enough of it; and grilled onions were greasy (this means good in my book). The burgers had a trace of pink at first bite but were fully well done by maybe a minute later (the meat was piping hot). The food was okay, but I seriously contemplated making a detour to Gallagher's on the way to the club; I was deterred by the $3/oz tariff for the strip steak, no sides, which came for $12 plus each. Still 4 hours before the flight - my connection had gotten in unconscionably early, but the next one would have been risky given the weather and all -, so I amused myself attempting to get drunk on Jim Beam, the free whiskey at the club (I seem to recall it having been Wild Turkey in the past, but that was then). I failed miserably. Maybe should have gone to Gallagher's anyway. UA 504 EWR PHX 1730 1950 752 8A This is the seat formerly known as 9A, of which I have become fond, though as there's no floor stowage, it's necessary to board early to secure enough bin space. After I'd settled in, an attractivish brunette gave me a little smile as she went past. Oho, thought I. I settled in, glad of an empty next to me, and was just getting ready for some shuteye when I got jostled - by, in fact, the brunette, who had been victim of a duplicate seat assignment. She was even more attractive up close and proved to be a pleasant if intermittent conversation partner. She was also otherwise spoken for, which was fine as 1. I was old enough to be her father and 2. so am I. The flight went pretty quickly, though. My friend Bill was at the curb waiting for me. He hadn't had dinner either, so we went off to the Taqueria Mucho Gusto in Tempe, where I've had a meal or two before and which is open blessedly late. He had decent but not too generous machaca tacos, the meat tasty and of the right texture. He asked for the guacamole on the side, as he doesn't like it and I do. It was oily and mediocre, sort of like a green mayonnaise. I had tortilla soup, very un-Mexican tasting, followed by the Oaxacan tamales with "spicy" red roast pork. These were perfectly fine if a little bland, covered in a peanut and chocolate mole with a bit of cinnamon that helped a bit. It wasn't until I tasted this that I recall I'd ordered it before and found it underseasoned and too lean in the gringo style. Riddle me this: Dos Equis amber on draft, 16 oz, $4; Coors Light in bottle, 12 oz, $5. As he's now a member of La Quinta's rewards program, I let him choose the one at the airport for our pied a terre. The room was smallish but okay, fairly tidy; he was apparently disappointed, as he'd been accustomed to better when he's stayed at other properties.